Why we look better tanned. | (2023)

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, many people perceive beautiful, bronze skin as an attractive trait. Yet, in some parts of the world, where people are naturally darker, they actually try to avoid the sun and lighten their skin. In Victorian times, it was fashionable to have pale skin because that was a sign that you had money and didn’t have to work out in the fields. While there is undoubtedly a cultural element attached to the perception of darker looking skin as attractive or not, today most western cultures seem to associate tanning with beauty and happiness.

The light reflectivity of skin significantly influences its aesthetic appearance. The positive effect of a tan could be attributed to the fact that it provides a uniform light reflection with a continuous blend of light and shadow, in contrast to pale skin that is commonly associated with pigmentation differences and sharp shadows. The glow provided by a tan can make a face look more vibrant and therefore youthful. A tan can also help make muscles look more toned and more well defined.

Today, having a tan is associated with people that have an active, outdoor lifestyle. A tan therefore makes people look healthier and fit. Pale skin is often associated with sickness (e.g. anaemia) which is another, indirect reason why a tan makes people seem healthier.

It’s hard to deny that there is a correlation between the way people look and their self-esteem. When people feel like they look good, they will also feel better about themselves. In addition to just feeling better about yourself because you are pleased with your appearance, having a tan may actually make you feel better physically, because exposure to ultraviolet light stimulates vitamin D production. Vitamin D plays an important role in several ways. It helps regulate cell growth, it can boost the immune system, and is involved in energy metabolism. Vitamin D also leads to higher bone density and strength.

It’s important to note, however, that tanning can actually make your skin look older in the long term by inducing photodamage. Continuous exposure to ultraviolet radiation through outdoors sun exposure or sunbeds can also increase the risk of developing skin cancer, especially in individuals with lighter skin tones. It is therefore recommended that tanning is done in a controlled manner, i.e. short intervals of sun exposure, while always wearing a skin product with a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. In this way we can enjoy the beneficial effects of a tan, safely and lifelong.


Why do we look better with a tan? ›

It makes you look slimmer

A bronzed tan helps to define muscles, creating a slimmer, more toned silhouette without stepping foot in the gym. For extra definition, contour your tan in key areas such as around cheek bones, under your triceps and on your abs to look more defined.

Why do I feel more attractive when I'm tan? ›

Being tan is often perceived as being more attractive because of the association with health and vitality. Many people mistakenly believe that having a tan indicates a person is healthier than someone without a tan, even though this isn't necessarily the case.

Is tan more attractive than pale? ›

A new study by Missouri School of Journalism researcher Cynthia Frisby found that people perceive a light brown skin tone to be more physically attractive than a pale or dark skin tone. “Does a person's skin color alone impact whether others perceive her as physically attractive?

Why does a tan make you look younger? ›

Learn the art of blurring

"Women love it because it masks blemishes and imperfections–think age spots and varicose veins– evens skin tone, nourishes and conditions skin and thanks to its light reflecting particles gives a beautiful temporary glow which creates a more youthful appearance.

Are people more attractive when they're tan? ›

Participants indicated that models with a medium level tan appeared most attractive and healthiest, with those who had no tan appearing least attractive and healthy. Males preferred darker tans more than women. A similar study found that males not only rated dark tans as more attractive (vs.

Which skin tone is most attractive? ›

Most people are naturally drawn to what they are familiar with, something that further explains why olive skin tone is attractive. Secondly, olive-skinned people tend to have a little more melanin-producing cells than fair-skinned individuals.

Which skin tone is most attractive in America? ›

Frisby analyzed the responses and discovered that participants, of whom 45 were Caucasian and 34 were African American, found the light brown skin tone most attractive.

What skin color is most attractive to guys? ›

In a website poll of over 66,000 respondents, 20% said green was the most attractive, followed by hazel and light blue at 16%.

Does tanned skin age faster? ›

Whilst a glowing complexion may be seen by some as a sign of good health, often, tanned skin resulting from frequent sun exposure speeds up ageing. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), sun exposure is the leading factor for skin ageing.

What makes a face look younger? ›

Skin brightening treatments, like Microdermabrasion, Light Peels, Micro Laser Peels, or the Clear & Brilliant Laser treatment all help patients to look 10 years younger or more, with just a few treatments. These treatments can be used in order to combat the signs of aging in the face, such as: Wrinkles. Age spots.

How do tan skin look beautiful? ›

Some shades of hair color complement tans better than other colors. Blonde shades are probably best known for complementing a tan. For golden skin tones, choose warm shades of blonde, like golden blonde.
Wear bronzer.
  1. Make sure not too apply too much bronzer. ...
  2. Some shades of bronzers may not be right for your skin.

What eye color is most attractive? ›

We found that green is the most popular lens colour, with brown coming in a close second, despite it being one of the most common eye colours. Although blue and hazel are seen as the most attractive eye colours for men and women they are surprisingly the least popular.

Which country has most beautiful skin? ›

Which country has the most beautiful skin? Japan, China and other countries located in Asia have a rich diet of vitamins (specifically A and C, which benefit skin elasticity) and minerals including antioxidants from fruits and green tea.

Which is the prettiest hair color? ›

Blonde is Crowned the Sexiest Hair Colour of 2021!

When asked which hair colour they think is sexiest, almost a third of people said they have no preference. However, of those who did have a colour preference: Most say that blonde hair is the sexiest (31.5%)

Does a tan hide wrinkles? ›

A sunless tan will also not entirely cover up wrinkles, freckles or age spots. However, it can help your skin's appearance in other ways. Freckles and age spots may darken slightly, but this can be avoided by using products designed to "build" color every day.

Does more melanin make you look younger? ›


Darker skin can show age more slowly because it has more melanin (dark pigment that determines sun sensitivity). The more melanin you have, the more protection you have against photoaging, or skin damage from too much exposure to the sun's rays.

How much does tanning speed up aging? ›

Did you know that 80%* of skin's aging is caused by UV rays? The sun can play a large role in cutaneous aging, with tanning increasing the risk of developing wrinkles.

Does less sun exposure make you look younger? ›

Just avoid the sun, says a new study. The study of 231 women by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Olay has revealed that those, who kept out of sun and wore sunscreen when ditching the rays wasn't possible, looked up to 20 years younger than they actually were.


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